Julia Roberts made her second appearance with the Television Critics Association for her upcoming Amazon Prime series Homecoming. She previously attended a panel for the HBO movie The Normal Heart, but Homecoming will be her first series role.
Roberts plays a counselor for returning veterans who left that work years ago. Now she’s drawn back in by an investigation that may reveal secrets she wanted to escape. Homecoming comes from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, along with Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg.
After the TCA panel for Homecoming, Roberts spoke with reporters a little longer. Here’s a preview of Homecoming, which premieres November 2, 2018 on Amazon.
You got to do some fun thrillers early in your movie career. What was fun about returning to that kind of genre now?
Julia Roberts: “That’s a great question. It is a genre I love. I did get to do some great ones, you’re right. So it is nice to come back to, especially with Sam who is so clever. His version of twists and turns are so subtle and clever, so it was really, really enjoyable.”
How is Sam Esmail different from any director you’ve ever worked with?
Julia Roberts: “I’m fortunate that I’ve worked with a few directors who are sort of genius minded as him, but I don’t think anybody could top his just daily enthusiasm. He’s just excited every day, just ready to go and smiling and ‘Good morning!’ He just loves it so much. That is really contagious. Even though we say we work four hour days and everything else, there were some long days, long scenes. We had a lot of complicated things to do, Stephan [James] and I together.”
Would you and your husband work together on a project anytime soon?
Julia Roberts: “We love working together. We’ve collaborated seven times now.”
Are there any upcoming projects?
Julia Roberts: “Nothing really, but I love it personally. I don’t know how it is for him. You’d have to ask him but I love it.”
Why did the mention of season two make you say, “One onion at a time?”
Julia Roberts: “Well, because I feel like we just showed up at the party and you guys are saying, ‘So when you leave…’ So I just want everybody to anticipate this and not be looking down the road to something.”
Is this a character you’d like to live in a little longer?
Julia Roberts: “We just finished in June so I’m happy to take the summer off.”
Do you have a favorite memory of working with Dermot Mulroney before?
Julia Roberts: “My Best Friend’s Wedding was super fun. That’s really when we became best pals, so that has a place in my heart for sure.”
Was this the right part at the right time?
Julia Roberts: “It is. I’ve always believed that the parts that I’ve been able and lucky enough to do always came in the right moment with the right people and that collective has worked out. I think that this one, part of my enthusiasm is that we just finished it. It’s all so fresh in your mind. You can remember it. Usually we’re doing this a year down the road.”
How long was the shoot?
Julia Roberts: “We started in February and finished in June.”
Did you like the structure of doing a series regularly for months?
Julia Roberts: “Not really. I mean, kind of. When we worked at the studio it was predictable driving to and from work but then we were on location, sometimes we were so far away. Yeah, it was very much like making a movie to me. I didn’t really see much different.”
What is your relationship to television?. How much does it play a role in your life?
Julia Roberts: “I wish it played a bigger role in my life. I have three young children so I’m very careful about turning the TV on.”
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The Homecoming Plot: “Heidi Bergman (Roberts) is a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life. Walter Cruz (Stephan James) is one of these soldiers, eager to begin the next phase of his life. Overseeing Heidi and the facility is Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale), an ambitious company man whose manic demands point to questionable motives.
Four years later, Heidi has started a new life, living with her mother (Sissy Spacek) and working as a small-town waitress, when a Department of Defense auditor (Shea Whigham) comes to her with questions about why she left the Homecoming facility. Heidi begins to realize that there’s a whole other story behind the story she’s been telling herself.”